Since 2010

Reading log


34 entries for 2021: 30 completed plus 4 abandoned

December 2021

Playing Offside

Jax Calder

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir

First re-read of this, so obviously the shocks and twists didn’t land the same as they did last time, but it’s still an awesome story with lovable characters, great humour, all woven together in a clever way.

Boy Swallows Universe

Trent Dalton

Fine. Medium. It was pretty funny and very Australian. I feel like it left a lot of loose ends though.

November 2021

Fall, Or Dodge in Hell

Neal Stephenson

What a load of old shit. And a colossal waste of reading time. I spent almost a month picking through this book. The chapters kept getting longer and longer, and when I looked to see how far I was from the end I still had something like a third of the fucking thing to go. Kindle was estimating I’d need another nine hours to finish it. It started fine, interesting premise etc. etc. but I just couldn’t go on once the mountains started talking and “Adam” was ejaculating over “Eve”.

October 2021

The Martian

Andy Weir

Third read. I reckon this is my favouritest book ever.

Cocaine Blues

Kerry Greenwood

Harmless but lacked substance.

The Hunt for Red October

Tom Clancy

Ugh I don’t know. I nearly gave this two stars, but I didn’t hate it. I’m indifferent. It took me bloody weeks to get through, I can tell you that. A very detailed story, with lots of characters and locations to keep track of. I think it’s just the subject that turned me off - I normally love detail in a story, but sneaky warfare and military stuff doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’ll watch the movie - I can imagine how it would make a good movie.

August 2021


L.C. Rosen

I definitely wasn’t the target audience for this one. It was a sweet story, and I’m really happy books like this exist in the world though. Maybe if it had existed/I had read it about 25 years ago I’d have given it more stars.

Cockpit Confidential

Patrick Smith

I follow the author’s blog, and it seemed appropriate to dig into this book - which was already sitting in my queue - having just finished that MH370 book. It’s clear the author enjoys his industry, and he’s a great communicator. I’m a sucker for “behind the scenes” stories about everyday events.

The Disappearing Act: The Impossible Case of MH370

Florence de Changy

I followed the hunt for MH370 with interest, and I’ve read a wee bit about the mystery since. This author seems to have spoken to a lot of people over the last few years and makes a fairly solid case that the commonly accepted cause of the flight’s disappearance is a load of crap. The story we all know, about the rogue pilot and the incredibly accurate route he took in order to remain hidden, really doesn’t make sense to me after reading this book. At the same time, how on earth could any alternative solution have been kept so well hidden by so many people for so long?

July 2021


Steve Cavanagh

I really enjoyed the way the stories being told met in the middle. There was a good balance between letting the reader know what’s about to happen, and keeping the next twist hidden from us. I might check out some more of this author’s work.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

Jonny Garza Villa

Fine. Medium. The letter the main character sends to his asshole dad in one of the last chapters was 👌

Neither Here Nor There

Bill Bryson

Och I love a good Bill Bryson book, and I’d never read this one before. I’m never in these ones for the travel - he just makes me laugh!

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig

Had some feel-good moments, some of which came close to being eye-roll clichés, but it all held together nicely in the end. The story was overall a rather interesting concept.


Joseph Heller

This is the second time I’ve attempted this “classic”, and while I made it further this time than last time I still only got about one-sixth of the way into it before giving up, mid-paragraph, in an agitated strop. I don’t get it. How is this on every “must read before you die” list? By about the second page there’s a cast of 300 characters you have to keep a track of, and there’s almost never any link between one sentence and the next. What a load of old shit.

June 2021

Red, White & Royal Blue

Casey McQuiston

Great fun with an enticing premise. Made me laugh out loud several times, which isn’t something that happens very often. Surprisingly mucky in sections, not that I’m a prude or didn’t enjoy those sections… Anyway it was clever, funny, romantic (but not too lovey-dovey), and very well put together.

The Coffinmaker's Garden

Stuart MacBride

Ugh this was a struggle, especially on the back of that 5-star-er by Weir. That aside, I didn’t care for this one - didn’t care about the characters, didn’t care about the outcome.

May 2021

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir

Holy hell yes. This has a very similar feel to “The Martian”, with the same sort of humour and plausable science, but with a kind of… a kind of unexpected love story thrown in. I want to re-read this already!

Date Me, Bryson Keller

Kevin van Whye

I’m a sucker for these young adult, coming-out, self-discovery stories. They make me feel all sorts of things, and cause me to relive my own late teenage years.

The Switch

Beth O'Leary

Yeah a pretty easy and intriguing story once I got into it. Somewhat predictable, but just enough “gotchas” to keep things interesting. I’ve realised that I quite enjoy stories where each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character.

Mouse Tales

David Koenig

This was fun, and I like the way the book was structured.

April 2021


R J Palacio

Hey look - a rare 5 star-er! A beautiful story, told in an interesting way.

Hope Close

Tina Seskis

So much potential, but it became apparent in the last quarter that this one was not going anywhere interesting. Desperate Housewives without any of the drama or fun or unpredictability.

March 2021

The 45% Hangover

Stuart MacBride

I’m not sure this one counts as a “book”: it calls itself a novella and it only took a couple of hours to get through. I really enjoyed it though - it was a short, sharp, funny little story focussing on our favourite characters from the Logan McRae series.

All That's Dead

Stuart MacBride

My 9th from the Logan McRae by my count. I enjoyed this one - it had fewer characters and names to keep track of than some of the books from this series, which is fine with me. Had a couple of good “wow” moments towards the end too.

February 2021

Mrs Queen Takes the Train

William Kuhn

Not sure about this. It was quirky and amusing to think of HRH going AWOL and making breakfast for people. The personal stories of the characters never landed though. I also felt like there was a lot of work done so that the different back-stories would intertwine, but they never did either.

What If It's Us

Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

I think the target audience for this is half my age, but it was fast and fun and relatable in an I’d-rather-not-remember-those-years kind of way.

Star of the North

D. B. John

It took me ages to get into this, but something told me I should persevere and about half-way through it started properly drawing me in. I’m not sure the pay-off was worth it hence my tepid review. The North Korean theme was interesting and thought provoking though, I’ll give it that.

January 2021


Shannon Molloy

An emotional and relatable story.

Into The Black

Evan Currie

Nope. Too much war and military shit.

The Martian

Andy Weir

Yep, easily keeps it’s 5 stars after my first re-read.

What Happened

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Long one, but kept me interested and entertained throughout. She deserves a rant, but that wasn’t the tone of the book at all: it was calm, factual, and kept an eye on the big picture. The edition I got has an addendum Clinton added about a year after initial publication, which was excellent - nice to get her thoughts after the dust of the 2016 election had settled a bit.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Douglas Adams

I closed my review of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by saying “I bought the whole series, so I’ll certainly continue with it.” Well I tried, but it wasn’t making me happy. Not funny, not clever.

How to Build a Car

Adrian Newey

I don’t usually go for autobiographies but the topic of designing Formula 1 cars sounded interesting. As with most autobiographies, there was more than enough self-congratulations, but what’s the point of writing a book if you can’t toot your own horn eh? Most of the engineering sections were about aerodynamics which doesn’t really float my boat, but it did open my eyes to the world of competitive racing a bit.